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2003 S&T e-Digest Contents



Vol. 49, No. 11, November 2004



Table of Contents





Sensors and Transducers: Frequency Output Versus Voltage Output


Our  online sensor survey 2004: What Do You Use Most ? is coming to its final stage. One month remains before it will be closed and we will have very good statistics and basis for the future prediction. Many thanks to all our IFSA members and visitors who take part and answer for one important question. But the most interesting things is that our online survey becomes now a mini forum with an interesting discussion what is better: frequency or voltage output ? There is not only answer for the main question what do you use most, but also some interesting suggestions, comments and opinions. You can see it all as well as add your own opinion by visiting http://www.sensorsportal.com/HTML/Polls.htm  Click the 'view results' and than 'comments' . 


All these were an impact to write this editorial article 'Sensors and Transducers: Frequency Output Versus Voltage Output' with aim to analyse main benefits and demerits of frequency-time sensor's output.


Vice President's signature


Sergey Y. Yurish,

IFSA Vice President

E-mail: info@sensorsportal.com





4 to 20 mA Temperature / Vibration Output Sensor


Depew, NY - The IMI Division of PCB Piezotronics offers TO640B, a temperature/ vibration output, two wire, loop-powered, current output sensor. Available with either top exit or patented 360-degree swivel mount side exit connections, this sensor is able to interface with existing alarm, control, and monitoring systems such as PLC's, DCS's, and SCADA systems.


Temperature output range is from -40 to +185 F (-40 to +85 C), with the vibration signal offered in peak velocity, rms velocity, and rms acceleration versions. This sensor has improved RF filtering and turn-on time, withstands exposure to harsh industrial environments, and is used for monitoring rotating machinery, gears, bearings, and motors.


Eric Yax, Inside Sales Manager

IMI Sensors Division

3425 Walden Avenue

Depew, NY 14043-2495

Tel: (800) 959-4464 ext. 2377, fax: (716) 684-3823

E-mail: eyax@pcb.com

TO640B temperature/ vibration sensor



Highly Integrated Pressure Sensors for Automotive Applications


Tessenderlo - Belgium - Melexis introduces a new family of fully integrated and programmable pressure sensor solutions. These devices are designed and qualified for harsh duty in automotive applications, but also are suitable for medical, consumer and industrial applications. This family consists of MLX90257, a relative integrated pressure sensor, and MLX90269, an absolute integrated pressure sensor. These pressure sensors help design engineers to optimize customer applications in terms of cost, space and time to market. Pressure ranges between 1 and 10 bar are already available.


An operating temperature range of -40C to 150C, adjustable output voltage clamping, detection and fault/diagnosis modes, over-voltage and reverse polarity protection make these chips the perfect fit for automotive applications. Melexis' "Programmable Through the Connector" concept for high-volume implementations enables post assembly programming in the production environment. Among the possible applications for this new product are Manifold Air Pressure, Barometric pressure, Water pressure, Oil pressure, Medical diagnostics, Pumps Industrial applications and Robotics.


Marleen Roosen

Transportstraat 1

3980 Tessenderlo

Tel.: +32 (0) 12 67 20 02

Fax: +32 (0) 12 67 20 03 

E-mail: marleen@inputint.com

MLX90257/69 integrated pressure sensors



Triaxial Force Sensor Monitors Machine Tools and Presses


The new Model 263A01 Industrial Triaxial Force Sensor from the Force/Torque Division of PCB Piezotronics, Inc. simultaneously measures indirect or direct dynamic and quasi-static forces in three orthogonal directions (x-, y-, and z-axes). Sensors are used to detect machinery overloads and collisions, as well as to monitor broken or missing tools in lathes, presses, broaches, and other machine tool applications.


Tool monitoring with three-component force sensors reduces costs and improves product quality by protecting expensive machinery, tooling, and tool holders, minimizing machine down time, and reducing scrap and rework.


The sensor provides an amplified, low-impedance voltage output signal, proportional to force, which is compatible with readout instrumentation and machine control equipment. Features include remote reset ( 5 VDC), long discharge time constant (> 100,000 seconds), rugged construction for harsh industrial environments, and integral 5 m (16.4 ft) cable. Single axis models are also available.


Peter Munschauer, Division Manager

Force/Torque Division

3425 Walden Avenue

Depew, NY  14043-2495 USA

Tel: (888) 684-0004 ext. 2405, fax:  (716) 684-8877

E-Mail: pmunschauer@pcb.com

Triaxial Force Sensor, Model 263A01



Torque Flange Sensor for Complete Measurement


Buffalo, NY - The robust construction of Magtrol's new TF Series Torque Flange Sensor (TF Sensor) allows for its use in even the harshest of environments. The TF Sensor can be used for torque measurement of transmissions, powertrains, wind generators, gas turbines and boat engines. It can also be used in general combustion engines as well as in electric motor and gearbox test benches.


Another benefit of this complete torque measurement system is its insusceptibility to signal interference. This benefit results from the fact that the TF Sensor's antenna, unlike antennae in its competitors' designs, does not need to be looped around the sensor. Additionally, a protective cover can be mounted close to the sensor with no effect on the signal, unlike in other systems that have loop antennae.


The TF Sensor is also extremely resistant. Other advantages of the TF Sensor include: direct mounting capability, highly accurate signal transmission and excellent noise immunity.


Magtrol offers Software and Torque Transducer Displays as options that enhance the capabilities of the TF Sensor.  Integrated speed pickup and high temperature capability are also optional.  Every TF Sensor has a torque range of 50 Nm to 50,000 Nm, an accuracy of 0.1% to 0.25%, an overall load capacity of 200% and an overload limit of 400%.


Alicia Becker, Marketing Coordinator,

Magtrol, Inc.,

70 Gardenville Parkway,

Buffalo, NY 14224

Tel.: 716-668-5555 ext. 112, fax:716-668-8705

E-mail: magtrol@magtrol.com

TF Series Torque Flange Sensor



Strain Gage Sensor Signal Conditioners


Depew, NY -- New Strain Gage Signal Conditioners and Indicator/Controllers from the Force/Torque Division of PCB Piezotronics, Inc.  provide conditioned, amplified analog voltage and current output for strain gage-based sensors such as load cells and reaction torque sensors.  The units operate from either 12 to 28 VDC or 115/230 VAC power, and deliver 5 or 10 VDC and 4 to 20 mA output signals for recording, control, and analysis purposes.


Economical, compact devices are offered in DIN Rail, 1/8 DIN Panel, and in-line configurations.  Available features include shunt calibration, programmable set points with LED status indicators, 5-digit display, easy menu-driven set-up, peak and valley recall, RS-232 output, and a fire-resistant, waterproof (NEMA 4x) enclosure.


Peter Munschauer, Division Manager

Force/Torque Division

3425 Walden Avenue

Depew, NY  14043-2495 USA

Tel: (888) 684-0004 ext. 2405, fax:  (716) 684-8877

E-Mail: pmunschauer@pcb.com

Strain Gage Signal Conditioners



PDA Displays Vibration Spectrum Analysis Using Accelerometers


CAMPBELL, CA. Two Datastick Vibration Spectrum Analyzers, the VSA-1227 and VSA-1247, are the first ruggedized PDA-based instruments for vibration analysis using Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) displays for ICP (R) accelerometers, announced Datastick Systems, Inc. The VSA-1227 provides 2 analog input channels and the VSA-1247 provides 4 analog input channels. When combined with the appropriate Datastick software, they become complete PDA-based multipurpose instruments for vibration analysis and analog data acquisition using a variety of ICP sensors. The VSA-1227 and VSA-1247 come with Datastick Spectrum software for vibration analysis and Datastick Connection Lite software for general-purpose data acquisition.


The VSA-1227 and VSA-1247, used with Datastick Spectrum software and ICP accelerometers, display Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) snapshots in thirteen selectable ranges up to 0-5 KHz, at a single-sided-spectrum resolution of up to 1024 points, with nine windowing options. In addition, the software provides tools for inspecting specific points in the display, as well as computing differences in amplitudes at recorded frequencies. The VSA instruments are used in applications in industrial automation, plant maintenance, field testing, machine health, and more.


Michael Scandling,VP Marketing,

Datastick Systems, Inc.,

51 E. Campbell Ave., Suite 130,

Campbell, CA 95008

Tel: 408 871 3300

Fax: 408 871-3313

E-mail: findout@datastick.com

Vibration Spectrum Analyzers VSA-1227/47



Sound Level Meter with Extended Capability to Measure 

Wind and Rotational Speed


Provo, UT A firmware upgrade for this very popular Real-time Analyzer/Sound Level Meter, Model 824, permits the measurement and storage of data associated with wind conditions or, alternatively, values of velocity or rotational speed associated with a test object.


The capability to measure wind speed and wind direction along with sound level data is a very useful feature for environmental noise monitoring, since wind can strongly influence the propagation of sound. In addition to providing values of average and maximum wind speed, wind direction data is provided in the form of percentages associated with each of the eight major compass points. Further, the user can configure the system to inhibit the accumulation of sound level data when the wind speed exceeds the level at which the generation of pseudo-sound due to airflow over the microphone will result in  erroneous measurement data.


This same feature can be used with other transducers which output a pulse train whose frequency is proportional to the measured parameter such as the velocity of a vehicle or the rotational speed of a shaft.


John Carey,

Marketing Manager, Acoustic Test Products

Larson Davis, Inc., 1681 West 820 North

Provo, UT  84601

Tel.:(888) 258-3222

E-mail: jcarey@larsondavis.com

Sound Level Meter, Model 824



Sensor Simulators for Verifying Test Set-ups


Depew, NY - The Electronics Division of PCB Piezotronics, Inc. offers several options for verifying test set-ups prior to actual testing, including sensor simulators, step function generators, and portable, handheld shakers.


ICP Sensor Simulators can be used in place of ICP sensors for verifying signal conditioning settings and cable integrity, and for tuning long lines for optimal system performance. A step function generator (charge calibration reference source) is available for setting trigger points in recording equipment and verifying charge amplifier and data acquisition set-ups. A portable hand-held shaker provides a known mechanical excitation, and is useful for conveniently verifying accelerometer and vibration system performance prior to testing.


Bill Andrews, Division Manager

Electronics Division

3425 Walden Avenue

Depew, NY  14043-2495 USA

Phone (888) 684-0015 ext. 2606, fax:  (716) 684-0987

E-Mail: bandrews@pcb.com

Test System Verification Accessories



The Ectropyx Integration Platform for Sensors


Santa Clara, CA. Willow Technology, Inc. announced its Ectropyx(TM) integration platform for sensors. Ectropyx is designed to provide online, secure and reliable integration between sensors and enterprise applications and databases, allowing centralized administration and control of sensors and controllers, as well as the processing of collected sensor data. For sensors such as RFID readers, this permits true online transaction processing.


Before Ectropyx, the typical integration point for sensors and sensor networks was typically a Personal Computer (PC) that obtained data via batch transfers from a datalogging device, or online via a simple serial connection. The PC typically provided a graphical viewing capability and repository for the data. Integration, if any, with the enterprise involved transferring files to a host for further processing. This approach limits the immediate use of the data to a few users restricts the number of sensors that can be reasonably managed. Also, the delay in providing the data to other applications and users limits both its strategic and operational value to the enterprise.


Gary Clueit,

Willow Technology

Tel: 408/296-7400

E-mail: clueit@willowtech.com



Filters and Attenuators for ICP and Charge Output Sensor Signals


Depew, NY. The Electronics Division of PCB Piezotronics, Inc. offers several in-line options for conditioning ICP and charge output sensor signals using filters or attenuators. Series 474 In-Line Low Pass Filters may be used in any low impedance system, and attach directly to the input of readout instruments to eliminate potentially troublesome high-amplitude resonance peaks. Series 477 In-Line Low Pass Filters for ICP sensors provide 12 dB/octave or 40 dB/decade roll-off for attenuating high frequency, high-amplitude signals normally associated with structural resonances. High-resonance peaks have the potential to obscure or distort actual signals of interest, as well as overload readout and analysis instruments. Custom filter options and in-line signal attenuators are available.


Bill Andrews, Division Manager

Electronics Division

3425 Walden Avenue

Depew, NY  14043-2495 USA

Tel: (888) 684-0015 ext. 2606, fax:(716) 684-0987

E-mail: bandrews@pcb.com


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